Musical collaborations can be a pretty hit or miss proposition. For every awesome Santana and Michelle Branch song (there happen to be two of them), there is an entire album of misery with Chris Cornell and Timbaland. Some genres tend to overdo the concept (looking at you, Rap/Hip-Hop), but a really solid collaboration takes a known entity and blends that artist’s style with the signature of another artist for a unique tune.
These are ten pairings I thought of that I think could produce an awesome song. Just because I’m pathetic and lead a very streamlined social life (see: Girlfriend), I’m even going to title the song I imagine the artists putting out.
I’ll admit before hand that the titles are going to be terrible and generic, but oh well.
Justin Timberlake and Lady GaGa
Song: “I Don’t Need You”
Imagine a break-up song where you get to hear both sides air their dirty, sexy laundry in public with alternating verses. Then, imagine a brilliant pop song that would breed the smoothness of JT’s “Love Stoned” with Gaga’s bombastic “Bad Romance”. This collaboration is a license to print money.
The National & Morrisey
Song: “Where Do We Go From Here?”
I’m never going to get a chance to see The Smiths live. Hell, they’re a band that broke up amidst burgeoning fame and has never even hinted at getting back together. But a band I can see, a band that reminds me a great deal of them, is The National. The National have “everyman” lyrics about relationships, events, and overall experiences that can be related to. They’re also moody and well-polished. Enter Morrisey. Morrisey’s iconic voice along with his reputation as having been one of the founders of true independent music would pair well with one of the best independent bands of recent years.
Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel), Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), and Jim James (My Morning Jacket)
Song: “Moving On”
This one I’ll admit is almost impossible, given Mangum’s tendency to not do anything in terms of new music these days (he will draw on a ticket stub for you, though). This trio would bring together a heartfelt song about life and death. Of course, Mangum’s vocal section would be the final verse, and I’m already getting chills thinking about him belting on record again. Plus I’m quite sure this would be Clay Cunningham’s favorite song of all time.
Arcade Fire and Bruce Springsteen
Song: “A Generation to Come”
Springsteen has always embodied the spirit of the blue collar working man, and I think Arcade Fire speak from the heart of a young adult who is frustrated but can reflect and offer hope for the future. I think their styles would integrate seamlessly. The song would be about the future by way of remembering the past and present.
Les Claypool and Jack White
Song: “Renegades and Rascals”
Just take the best pure guitarist of this generation and pair him with the most unique bass player of all time and you have the heart of an amazing song. The song would sound like a blues song covered in dirt, but the chops on display would be amazing.
Beck and Kanye West
Song: “New Revolution”
I think the sensibilities would be a fantastic contrast between these two. Beck is calm and very bohemian, Kanye is direct and intense. It would be easy if Kanye just sampled a Beck song, but I would prefer something completely new. Imagine the world’s these two see, and how different they must be. Or maybe they would surprise us.
Wolfmother and Justin Hawkins (The Darkness)
Song: “Hot Colonic”
I’m not sure if you young kids or old tools are aware just how much The Darkness kicked ass for two entire albums. They were fun, abrasive, and different. Basically, they were Wolfgrandmother. Hawkins has one of the most unique rock voices in history, and Andrew Stockdale nearly matches him. Just the two of them harmonizing, along with the absolutely face melting guitar solos, would create one of the shrillest rock songs ever. And for some reason, I want the music video to take place on a volcano.
Gorillaz and Trent Reznor
Song: “Face the Space”
I’ve always wondered what a Trent Reznor song would sound like if he didn’t take himself so seriously and wasn’t so bloody intense, and his demonic voice on a Gorillaz track might be just what the doctor ordered. Gorillaz are artistic, and Reznor has perfected the industrial sound.
Mastodon and Ozzy Osbourne
It dawned on me when listening to Mastodon’s Crack the Skye just how much they reminded me of the Ozzy fronted Black Sabbath. Whereas Ozzy has just kept putting out the same song for the last 10 or so years, him joining up with the prog-metal beasts might cure what ails his stagnating songs. Mastodon are fantastic, but they lack a certain visibility with metal lovers because what they do is more progressive. A song with Ozzy helps everyone, including my ears.
MGMT and OutKast
Song: “Super Ego”
To me, OutKast are the last hip-hop supergroup to exist, and they might have even been the best. They were smooth, dynamic, and intelligent. MGMT are an odd duck to be sure, especially if you’ve heard their most recent album. They aren’t exactly frothing at the mouth to be famous or to be heartthrobs. Enter OutKast. Let’s imagine “Elecrtic Feel” mated with “B.O.B.” We’d get a poppy synth hook with the lyrical proficiency of Andre 3000 and Big Boi. Sign me up.